Pastor Steve Ellison
Being a Christian is all about The Relationship; the relationship with the Living God. Some would add that the Christian life is not a list of do’s and do not’s. They are correct, however God has provided a list of things that some would read at first glance as do’s and do not’s. In no way can one earn God’s favor by following that list; however, one can use that list to measure themselves. One ought to measure himself to see if he is in the faith. If the good things in the list are present in one’s life and if the bad things are not present then that person can be sure that his relationship with God is in good working order. If the good things are not present in one’s life and the bad things are present then that person should begin to look to the Lord. This list of do’s and do not’s given as a measuring device is designed to press us back to the Lord, to cause us to look to the Lord, to get us to cultivate our relationship with Him.
When God reveals Himself to us and we respond in faith establishing a relationship, God begins to show us some expectations which evaluate that relationship. In this relationship no joint counseling is needed. Only one person in this relationship needs counseling. That would be the human partner. God has furnished the needed counsel for us in chapters 12-16 of Romans. In those wonderful and powerful chapters God lays out the rules which govern all human relationships. He begins with our relationship with Him because that is the first relationship, the relationship from which all other relationships flow. Our relationship with Him is different from all other relationships first and obviously because we relate to Him not as an equal but as a subordinate. Also, our relationship with Hirelationships first and obviously because we relate to Him not as an equm is different because we can’t see Him, touch Him, hear Him audibly, etc. He has no needs we can meet. He does not need our help. Oh, but we can neglect Him, spurn Him, hurt Him, damage His reputation in the world, etc. We need a way to evaluate this unique and most special of all relationships. Thus, he gave us Romans chapter 12-16 as an evaluation tool. Our relationships with others are clear indicators of the health of our relationship with God.
Romans 12:1-2 reads, “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” NASU This passage describes the starting point for all my relationships. First, I am to be rightly related to God as a sacrifice having Life, not the life I had to start with. Life is found only in Christ. I am called to be a set-apart-for-service sacrifice. If I am rightly related to God, then I will be related to everyone. That does not mean that everyone will like me and be happy with me. That does not mean that no one will disagree with me. God the Son was surely rightly related with God the Father absolutely and completely and at all times. Many disagreed with Him and opposed Him and spoke against Him. Being rightly related to others means that I will see them as God sees them, love them as God loves them, treat them as God treats them, forgive them as God forgives them, etc. I can do none of those things on my own. I will have to be attached to The Vine, which is Christ. One way that I do not treat others as God does is as judge. That is something God has reserved for Himself. God has reserved judgment, punishment, and vengeance for Himself. ………..firstname.lastname@example.org